Prof. William Schmidt introduces 'Obit.'
Professor Nancy Sharkey and journalist David Cay Johnston
Since 2015, the University of Arizona School of Journalism has co-hosted the Journalism on Screen series at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway. Other sponsors are the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Arizona Daily Star, the Arizona Daily Wildcat/UA-TV3, The New York Times and Arizona Inn.
The series, organized by professors William Schmidt and Nancy Sharkey, with help from The Loft's Jeff Yanc, features Q-and-A sessions with journalists and writers after the screenings. Schmidt and Sharkey are both former editors at The New York Times.
• April 8, 2018: "Good Night, And Good Luck." See the Q&A with journalist and New York Times bestselling author Lynne Olson, a UA J-school graduate, and Prof. Nancy Sharkey as they analyzed the 2005 George Clooney film about broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow and his conflict with anti-Communist Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Olson has written seven books of history, most involving World War II and Britain’s role. The film stars David Strathairn, Clooney, Robert Downey, Jr., Patricia Clarkson and Jeff Daniels. See the trailer.
• Feb. 18, 2018: "Seabiscuit." See part of the Q&A with New York Times sports reporter Joe Drape and moderator Brett Fera, who talks to Drape about sports journalism, including how the press has covered the horse racing industry over the years. Fera, director of UA Student Media, also moderated a panel with Drape when he was here for the Tucson Festival of Books last spring, when they talked about Drape's book on American Pharoah. The 2003 film, directed by Gary Ross, is the true story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted the nation. Based on the Laura Hillenbrand book, it stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Elizabeth Banks. See the trailer.
• Dec. 3, 2017: "Obit." See the Q&A with Bruce Weber, obituary writer, New York Times. The 2016 documentary looks into the world of obituaries at The Times. Writers are interviewed as they research and compose obits, including one for William P. Wilson, who coached John F. Kennedy on his historic TV debate with Richard Nixon. See the trailer.
• Oct. 8, 2017: "Bill Cunningham New York." Hear the Q&A with Guy Trebay, reporter/critic for The New York Times Culture and Style desk who also wrote a 2015 story, "In Tucson, an unsung architectural oasis." Will Conroy, a screenwriter whose family runs the Arizona Inn, was the moderator. The 2010 documentary follows New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, a Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist who for decades chronicled fashion trends and high-society charity events for the newspaper's Style section. He died in 2016. See the trailer.
• Sept. 17, 2017: "Shattered Glass." See the Q&A about journalism ethics with Jill Jorden Spitz, editor of the Arizona Daily Star and a 1988 UA School of Journalism graduate. UA journalism professor Susan Knight, who teaches Ethics and the News Media, moderated the Q&A with audience members. The 2003 film chronicles journalist Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen), a young reporter who quickly rose from a minor writing post in Washington to a feature writer at the New Republic, where his sources are questioned. See the trailer.
• March 5, 2017: “The Killing Fields.” Craig Whitney, former foreign correspondent and Foreign Editor of The New York Times, and adjunct professor Joe Sharkey analyzed the film and took questions. The two served together in Vietnam, as members of the same U.S. Navy unit. “The Killing Fields” (1984) won three Oscars, and tells the story of journalists Sydney Schanberg (Sam Waterson) and Dith Pran (Haing Ngor), who were trapped in Cambodia during Pol Pot’s bloody ascension. See the trailer.
• Feb. 12, 2017: "The Insider." See an excerpt of the Q&A with former "60 minutes" producer Lowell Bergman and New York Times lawyer David McCraw. Bergman, director of the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley, is played by Al Pacino in the 1999 Michael Mann film. It tells the story of a research chemist (Russell Crowe) in the tobacco industry who comes under attack when he decides to spill the beans about the industry to Bergman and "60 Minutes." See the trailer.
• Jan. 22, 2017: "The Natural." See the Q&A with Arizona Daily Star sports columnist Greg Hansen and screenwriter Will Conroy followed the 1984 film, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Redford as baseball player Roy Hobbs and Robert Duvall as sports writer Max Mercy. Hansen analyzed the film and talked about UA basketball, including the Alonzo Trier story. See the trailer.
• Dec. 4, 2016: "Ace in the Hole." The 1951 film, directed by Billy Wilder, was followed by Q&A with New York Times Phoenix Bureau chief Fernanda Santos. The film is about a former big-city journalist (Kirk Douglas) who is stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper. He exploits a story about a man tapped in a cave to re-jump start his career. Santos covers Arizona and New Mexico for the N.Y. Times. See the trailer.
• Nov. 14, 2016: "All the King's Men." See the Q&A with David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author of "The Making of Donald Trump." Johnston spoke about a pending Trump administration after the screening of the Oscar-winning 1949 film, which is about the rise and fall of a corrupt politician who retains power with a populist appeal. See the trailer.
• Sept. 25, 2016: "Spotlight." The Oscar-winning 2015 drama was followed by an onstage discussion with journalist and former Boston Globe publisher Richard Gilman, a UA journalism alum who was at the helm of the Globe during the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation depicted in the film. See the trailer.
• Aug. 23, 2016: "The Witness." See the Q&A with School of Journalism Director David Cuillier, professor Nancy Sharkey and The Loft's Jeff Yanc. See the trailer.
• March 24, 2016: "Citizenfour." See the Q&A with Glenn Greenwald, journalist and advocate. Greenwald's work with the Guardian on Edward Snowden's leak of classified documents was rewarded with a Pulitzer, and the film also won as Oscar as best documentary. See the trailer.
• Feb. 6, 2016: "Selma." See the Q&A with Diane McWhorter, journalist and author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book, Carry Me Home, about the civil rights struggle in her hometown of Birmingham, AL. See the trailer.
• Nov. 12, 2015: "Broadcast News." Q&A with Alessandra Stanley, former TV critic of The New York Times. See the trailer.
• Oct. 8, 2015: "The Paper." Q&A with Sam Sifton, senior editor at The New York Times. Former national editor at Times. See the trailer.
• Sept. 20, 2015: "Absence of Malice." Q&A with Kurt Luedtke (via Skype), Academy Award-winning screenwriter (won Oscar for Out of Africa). Former executive editor of Detroit Free Press. See the trailer.